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Leyland laments squandered chances

The SportsXchange

Jim Leyland feels no need to make a rah-rah speech to the Tigers, who trail the Giants three games to none in the World Series.

"You don't have to tell them anything," the Detroit manager said of his players. "They can count. We're down 3-0. There's no secret formula or message to them. We have to come out and win a game. You don't think about four. You think about one."

San Francisco shut Detroit out for the second game in a row Saturday night, getting its second consecutive 2-0 victory. The Giants will try to continue their excellent pitching Sunday night when they throw Matt Cain in Game 4.

"You got to give them credit," Tigers first baseman Prince Fielder said of San Francisco's pitchers. "They're hitting their spots. Back-to-back shutouts, they're doing something."

A total of 32 teams previously faced 3-0 deficits in the World Series, and all have been beaten.

The only time in baseball history a team came back from a 3-0 deficit in a best-of-seven series was when the Boston Red Sox beat the New York Yankees in the 2004 AL Championship Series.

"We're down 0-3, so it looks pretty bad. You can't argue that point," Leyland said. "We've done a pretty good job of pitching, too, other than the first game when Justin (Verlander) was a little bit frisky.

"Since that point, I think we've shut them down pretty good, too. We just haven't been able to get on the board."

Detroit had two hits and two walks Thursday in San Francisco. Back at home Saturday, the Tigers had five hits -- but none after the fifth inning -- and five walks.

"I thought we had Ryan (Vogelsong) on the ropes a couple times," Leyland said. "We couldn't get the killer hit, the killer blow.

"The biggest pitch of the night was the (third-inning) changeup to (Quintin) Berry that (Vogelsong) got the double play on because I think that set up the next at-bat to Berry, when he struck out. He threw him a fastball (in the fifth inning), and I think the changeup was probably in the back of his mind a little bit."

Detroit had a walk and a single in the first inning, but Prince Fielder hit into a double play.

Two one-out singles in the third went off the board when Berry hit into a double play.

Berry struck out with the bases loaded and one out in the fifth, and Cabrera popped out to short on an 0-1 fastball that was up and in just a tad too much for him to get a handle on.

"It's not going too well," Berry said. "We can't give up yet. Keep fighting, come back, get a win and extend the series. Nothing's good right now when you're not getting the job done for your team. Things are clicking for them right now. We've just got to get them clicking for us."

Leyland added, "We had a chance, we had a couple chances. We just didn't cash in on them."

San Francisco has handled Cabrera and Fielder to the point where they have just three hits between them, none a home run. The Giants now have two straight shutouts over a team that was blanked just two times all season entering the playoffs.

"We've been really hot and cold all year, a little bit more cold than hot," Leyland said. "Even in the playoffs, we haven't been scoring that many runs other than that game against the Yankees when we finally put eight on the board.

"We've been fighting all year long, in and out with our offense. I don't think it's frustration, it's just what it is."

The Tigers will have Max Scherzer pitching Sunday as they try to force a fifth game.
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